GREENE — A 13-year-old Lewiston girl died Tuesday, one day after she was rescued from the Androscoggin River.

Isha Ali had been playing in the water with friends and family shortly before 7:30 p.m. Monday when she went underwater, Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy William Gagne said in a media statement Wednesday.

The girl hadn’t been wearing a life jacket and apparently didn’t know how to swim, he said.

Responding to 911 calls, Deputy Darian Nadeau and Cpl. David Chabot of the Maine Warden Service along with some people at the Cherry Pond area of the river began searching for Ali. She was eventually found and brought to shore where CPR and other life-saving measures were started, Gagne said.

She was taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston where emergency workers were apparently able to get her heart beating.

She was transferred by medical helicopter to Maine Medical Center in Portland, where she was pronounced dead at about 6:50 p.m. Tuesday, Gagne said.


“Our condolences go out to her family and friends,” Gagne said.

The incident is being investigated by the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office and the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office with the assistance of the Maine Warden Service and the Greene, Lewiston and Auburn Fire Departments, Gagne said.

Lewiston School District Supt. Jake Langlais wrote in a letter to the community Wednesday that Ali had just completed the 7th grade on Monday.

He wrote the “terrible news” is “unimaginable for her family. While this was not school related, the trauma of losing a student we cared so deeply about is compounded by the loss of others. The life of one child is too much to lose.”

Lewiston Middle School Principal Jana Mates added that school’s library was open to students and staff to receive support from counselors from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on Wednesday and would again be open from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Thursday. The school’s main office also will be collecting donations to support Ali’s family.

A service that is open to everyone will be held at Gracelawn Memorial in Auburn on Thursday at 2 p.m.

“Through tragedy we find strength,” Mates wrote. “We will celebrate life, the time we did have together, and grow as a community.”

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